BOSTON (AP) -Clay Buchholz reached in vain for Miguel Tejada's chopper and figured his chance at a no-hitter had just bounced over his head.
He didn't count on Dustin Pedroia playing behind him.
``When I jumped and missed that ball, I was thinking, 'Well, it's over,''' Buchholz said. ``And then he comes out of nowhere (and makes) probably one of the best plays I've ever seen in 10 years anywhere. When he made that play, I knew that something was meant to happen.''
Pedroia dove for the ball behind second base, popping up instantly to throw to first base ahead of Tejada's head-first slide for the first out in the seventh. The defensive gem preserved Buchholz's no-hitter and helped the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-0 on Saturday night.
``I jumped up as fast as I could and I threw it as hard as I could,'' said Pedroia, a leading candidate for the AL's rookie of the year award.
It was the first-ever no-hitter for a Red Sox rookie and just the third no-hitter since 1900 by a pitcher in his first or second major league start.
``After Petey made that play, you kind of felt there was something special in the air,'' Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell said.
Tejada said he thought he beat the throw to first. It would have been some consolation in a 10-0 loss that gave the Orioles their 10th loss in 11 games.
``Early in the game, we were trying to win,'' Tejada said. ``But after they got the big lead, we were trying to break up the no-hitter.''
Pedroia's play wasn't the only good defense in support of Buchholz. Coco Crisp chased down Corey Patterson's line drive to left-center and made a backhanded catch for the second out in the sixth, and Buchholz helped himself with his glove when he stabbed Jay Payton's come-backer to end the eighth.
``For things like this to happen, guys have to make some plays,'' Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. ``But he also deserved to be in that territory because of the way he was pitching.''
Pedroia also had two hits in the game as Boston snapped a four-game losing streak that had allowed the New York Yankees to come as close as 4 1/2 games in the AL East. But his assist was the thing the Red Sox were talking about.
``First of all, to get to it was great,'' Francona said. ``But to continue and finish it was even better. You can see him diving, knocking it down. But to actually keep his glove, get it up ... the whole play, great play.''
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